2019 Real Estate Forecast: What Home Buyers, Sellers And Investors Can Expect

SC Homes Blog | MA

There’s no doubt about it: the 2018 housing market has seen its ups and downs.

The year started with sky-high home prices, historically low mortgage rates and a definitive upper hand for sellers. In recent months though, home price growth has faltered, rates have risen to their highest point in nearly eight years, and favor has started to shift from seller to buyer.

Will these trends continue? Will housing experience the same wild ride in the new year? Here’s what experts predict will happen in 2019 real estate market:

Mortgage rates will continue rising.

“Despite steady climbing for the past two years, mortgage rates remain lower than they were during most of the recession and below average for the type of strong economic growth we’ve been experiencing. That will change in 2019, as the 30-year, fixed rate mortgage reaches 5.8% — territory not seen since the dark days of 2008 when rates were racing downward in response to the housing crisis.” — Aaron Terrazas, director of economic research for Zillow

Millennials will keep buying homes — despite those rising rates.

“The housing market in 2019 will be characterized by continued rising mortgage rates and surging millennial demand. Rising rates, by making housing less affordable, will likely deter certain potential homebuyers from the market. On the other hand, the largest cohort of millennials will be turning 29 next year, entering peak household formation and home-buying age, and contributing to the increase in first-time buyer demand.” — Odeta Kushi, senior economist for First American

“Millennials will continue to make up the largest segment of buyers next year, accounting for 45% of mortgages, compared to 17% of Boomers, and 37% of Gen Xers. While first-time buyers will struggle next year, older Millennial move-up buyers will have more options in the mid-to upper-tier price point and will make up the majority of Millennials who close in 2019. Looking forward, 2020 is expected to be the peak Millennial home buying year with the largest cohort of millennials turning 30 years old. Millennials are also likely to make up the largest share of home buyers for the next decade as their housing needs adjust over time.” — Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com

Home buying power will decrease, but that could be a good thing.

“Most homebuyers budget a monthly payment. As rates rise, a fixed monthly payment translates into less borrowing capacity and buying power is down about 10% since the same time last year. As there are less buyers at each price point, the appropriate market response is a slowdown in sales and an easing in price momentum.”— Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist for LendingTree

Overall home sales will drop.

“As we look toward 2019, we are anticipating home sales to decline around 2%. We’re expecting it to be another slightly slower year as buyers continue to wrangle with higher mortgage rates after contending with several years of rapid price growth.” — Ruben Gonzalez, chief economist at Keller Williams

Inventory troubles will ease — not too much, though.

“The wave of first-time home buyer demand will be met by somewhat higher inventory levels than in 2018. However, while the days of multiple offers and bidding wars may be history in some markets where inventory is increasing, inventory will likely still remain tight nationally through 2019.” — Kushi

“In the majority of markets, the number of homes being put on the market or newly constructed has increased slightly, while the pace of sales has slowed slightly, which has helped stop the inventory decline. But the inventory increases or slowing price increases necessary for a more widespread sales gain are not forecasted to happen in 2019. While the situation is not getting worse for buyers, it’s also not improving notably in the majority of markets.”— Hale


Home price growth will continue to slow.

“Right now, for 2019, we believe home price appreciation will likely slow to near 3%. This is based on the assumption that the recent pattern of increasing inventory levels will be sustained in the upcoming year.”— Gonzalez

Buyers will see less competition, but that might not help first-timers.

“Buyers who are able to stay in the market will find less competition as more buyers are priced out but feel an increased sense of urgency to close before it gets even more expensive. Their largest struggle next year will be reconciling wants, needs and budget versus the heavy competition of 2018. Although the number of homes for sale is increasing, which is an improvement for buyers, the majority of new inventory is focused in the mid- to higher-end price tier, not entry-level.”— Danielle Hale, Realtor.com

National rents will rise, but apartment construction could ease renters’ pains.

“As higher rates limit the number of homes that potential buyers can afford, some would-be buyers will be too financially stretched to buy and will continue renting. As a result, recent (and very slight) drops in rent will reverse and turn positive again. The shift will be muted, however, by continued steady investment in apartment construction, which will prevent rent growth from shooting too far above income growth.” — Terrazas

NYC rent hikes will continue — thanks to Amazon.

“Overall, I think the beginning of 2019 will be relatively flat, with price increases in Q3, Q4 and into 2020. The period between the old 421A and the beginning of affordable New York was a window of time where there wasn’t a tremendous amount of rental development. During that time it was difficult to build rental developments due to the escalating land and construction costs, no tax incentives, etc., creating a shortage of new product. Today, not only have some regulations changed, but the economy is doing well, unemployment rates are down, a lot of jobs are being created here in New York – not only by Amazon but everything that comes along with Amazon and all of the corporations looking to be close proximity to their headquarters. When we see the economy doing well, we can expect rental prices to increase.” — Andrew Barrocas, CEO of MNS

Individual and institutional investors will battle it out.

“Well-funded institutional buyers have tremendous advertising budgets and their spend makes it impossible for the average real estate investor to compete. It takes a serious financial investment to fund a marketing campaign that accurately targets and identifies acquisition opportunities. That alone gives institutional investors an instant advantage. Additionally, interest rates are increasing, which not only impacts buyers who cannot afford to move, but also individual investors looking to borrow money to buy and hold rental properties. Their cost to borrow increases while inventory decreases and competition grows. This type of combination middle-market is one individual investors do not want to see.” — Brian Spitz, founder of Big State Home Buyers

Commercial property managers will hop on the shared space bandwagon — or bring in top amenities to make up for it.

“As co-working continues to be a disruptor in commercial real estate, the largest traditional landlords have opened their own flexible and co-working options to compete, such as Sage Realty’s Swivel and Boston Properties’ Flex. Landlords who are remaining or returning to the traditional commercial office space are facing increased demand for amenities like sleek lobbies, tech services, etc. To meet these demands and gain a competitive edge, landlords are opening up to fintech/insurtech solutions like replacing security deposits with surety bonds to make tenants lives easier.” — Julien Bonneville, CEO of The Guarantors

Technology will continue to disrupt the industry.

“Technology disruption of the real estate industry driven by Silicon Valley and institutional investors will reach a point where it’ll threaten the traditional real estate industry. Technological innovation is here and rapidly advancing in the real estate industry and preparing for disruption. iBuying, blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the ways buyers, sellers and investors interact with each other and the properties they are interested in.” — Spitz

The Moral of the Story

All in all, housing is set for a slow-down next year, but as Kapfidze explained, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“The medium and long-term prospects for housing are good because demographics are going to continue to support demand,” he said. “With a slower price appreciation, incomes have an opportunity to catch up. With slower sales, inventory has an opportunity to normalize. A slowdown in 2019 creates a healthier housing market going forward.”

Originally published here.

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How To Simply Increase Your Family Wealth By Paying For Housing

Wealth at Home | SC Homes Blog

Everyone should realize that unless you are living somewhere rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s. Buying your own home provides you with a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to use your monthly housing costs to increase your family’s wealth.

Every month that you pay your mortgage, you are paying off a portion of the debt that you took on to purchase your home. Therefore, you own a little bit more of your home every month in the form of home equity. As your home’s value increases you also gain home equity.

Every quarter, Pulsenomicssurveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists and asks them to project how residential home prices will appreciate over the next five years for their Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES).

The latest data from their Q4 2018 Surveyrevealed that home prices are expected to round out the year 5.8% higher than they were in January. For the next 5 years, home values will appreciate by an average of nearly 3% a year.

This is still great news for homeowners!

For example, let’s assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home in January. Simply through their home appreciating in value, those homeowners can build their home equity by nearly $40,000 over the next five years.

How to Simply Increase Your Family Wealth by Paying for Housing | Keeping Current Matters

Let’s look at the potential equity gained over the same period of time at some higher price points:

How to Simply Increase Your Family Wealth by Paying for Housing | Keeping Current Matters

In many cases, home equity is a large portion of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

If your plan for 2019 includes entering the housing market to purchase a home, whether it’s your first or your fifth, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you understand where prices are headed in your area.

Originally published here.

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What If I Wait A Year To Buy A Home?

SC Homes Blog | Buying

National home prices have increased by 5.4% since this time last year. Over that same time period, interest rates have remained near historic lows which has allowed many buyers to enter the market and lock in low rates.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Insights Reporthome prices will appreciate by 4.8% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

If home prices appreciate by 4.8% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a simple demonstration of the impact that an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

What If I Wait Until 2019 To Buy A Home? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If buying a home is in your plan for this year, doing it sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars over the terms of your loan.

Article originally published here. 

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The #1 Reason To Not Wait Until Spring To Sell Your House

MA Blog

Many sellers believe that spring is the best time to place their homes on the market because buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year, but what they don’t realize is that if every homeowner believes the same thing, then that is when they will have the most competition!

The #1 Reason to List Your Home in the Winter Months is Less Competition!

Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. The chart below was created using the months’ supply of listings from the National Association of Realtors.

The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | Keeping Current Matters

As you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your home for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – February). 

Temperatures aren’t the only thing that heats up in the spring – so do listings!

The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | Keeping Current Matters

In 2017, listings increased by nearly half a million houses from December to June. Don’t wait for these listings to come to market before you decide to list your house.

Added Bonus: Only Serious Buyers Are Out in the Winter

At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers.’ The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

Bottom Line

If you have been debating whether or not to sell your home and are curious about market conditions in your area, give me a call. I can help you decide the best time to list your house for sale.

Originally published here.

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Top Orange County Events for December 2018

Crystal Cove | MA Blog

This month, Orange County brings you winter wonderlands, festive celebrations, boat parades and more. Here’s a list of 25+ top Orange County things to do in December.

22nd Annual Crystal Cove Tree Lighting 
Dec. 1. Bring the family to the all-day annual tree lighting ceremony on the beach at Crystal Cove. Discover handcrafted treasures and jewelry made by local residents and artists and take part in various free activities. Take family photos with Santa and watch the tree-lighting ceremony at dusk while enjoying complimentary hot chocolate, apple cider and home-baked goodies provided by The Beachcomber Café. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Free; parking $5. Crystal Cove State Park, 8471 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach. crystalcove.org


Run for a Claus
Dec. 1. Join more than 2,500 participants in a variety of fun, colorful and craz holiday-themed costumes for the 5th Annual Run for a Claus 5k and 1-Mile Kids’ Run/Walk. The event features a Holiday Expo with family-fun entertainment and free photos with Santa Claus. All runners receive a Santa hat and beard prior to the run and a medal and a mug for hot cocoa when they finish. 8:30 a.m. 1-mile Kids’ Run/Walk; 9 a.m. 5k. $10-$45. University of California, Irvine, Ring Road near Aldrich Hall and Student Center, Irvine, 949.222.0456. runforaclaus.com


Chicano Soul Legends
Dec. 1. Get down for some soul music at Chicano Soul Legends. Enjoy performances by Los Lonely Boys, Thee Midniters, El Chicano and more. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $33. Honda Center, 2695 E, Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.704.2500. hondacenter.com


Huntington Beach Pier Snowflake-Lighting Ceremony + Holiday Parade
Dec. 2. Join the Light a Light of Love, a “snowflake lighting” along the iconic Huntington Beach Pier in honor of local at-risk-youth shelter Waymakers. Revel in seasonal bliss with fun festivities, carolers, performances, and more, including a special children’s parade and Surf City Santa Meet & Greet. 3:30-7 p.m. Holiday Parade 4-5:15 p.m.; Santa Meet-and-Greet 5 p.m.; Snowflake Lighting Ceremony 6 p.m. Free. Huntington Beach Pier Plaza, Main Street and Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach. waymakersoc.org


The Yappy Howl-iday Celebration
Dec. 2. This festive gathering gives canines and companions the opportunity to showcase their best holiday attire while gathering donations of dog food, treats, and toys to support animals in need. Food and beverage will be available for purchase, and the proceeds will entirely benefit the Canine Companions for Independence. 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Free. The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, One Ritz-Carlton Drive, Dana Point, 949.240.2000. ritzcarlton.com


Sawdust Festival’s Winter Fantasy
Dec. 1-2, 8-9, 15-16. The Sawdust Art Festival grounds are transformed into a winter wonderland for the holiday season. Experience unique artworks by 175 artists, live holiday entertainment, outdoor cafés, art classes and demonstrations, Santa Claus and more. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $4-$8. 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949.494.3030. sawdustartfestival.org


Gem Faire
Dec. 1-2. Nearly 200 exhibitors from around the world make the Gem Faire one of the largest gem, jewelry and bead shows in the United States. Discover fine jewelry, precious and semi-precious gemstones, millions of beads, crystals, gold and silver, minerals and more. Free hourly door prizes. F noon-6 p.m.; Sa 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Su 10 a.m-5 p.m. $7 GA; free for children 11 and under; $8 parking. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, 503.252.8300.gemfaire.com


So You Think You Can Dance Live! 2018
Dec. 2. The top 10 finalists from the most recent season of So You Think You Can Dance hit the stage at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. They include Hannahlei Cabanilla, Jay Jay Dixonbey and Chelsea Hough. Also enjoy special appearances by Season 15 winner Jensen Arnold and all-star guests Lauren Froderman and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer. 7 p.m. Tickets start at $39. 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.556.2787. scfta.org


Hot Sauce and Beer Crawl
Dec. 4. Now that your Thanksgiving food coma is a distant memory, consider a bar crawl like no other, featuring brews, spicy sauces and pizza. Asylum Brewing, Bottle Logic and Hoparrazi supply the beer; Heatseeker, Mago and acclaimed Ghost Scream are the purveyors of heat. Pair both with pizza from Out of the Park. 6-10 p.m. $5-$20. Asylum Brewing, 2970 E. La Palma, Suite D, Anaheim. Tickets


Fountain Valley Pho Festival 
Dec. 7-9. Citywide festival celebrates the flavors of Vietnam’s most popular home-style dish, pho. Along with creative and tasty variations of the festival’s namesake dish, enjoy other traditional Vietnamese foods, cooking demonstrations, live music and carnival attractions. Unlimited carnival rides for $30. F 7-9 p.m.; Sa 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Su 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Free admission. Parking $5. Fountain Valley Sports Park, 16400 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley. ocphofest.com



Get in the holiday spirit at Sawdust Festival’s Winter Fantasy.


33rd Annual Candlelight Walk
Dec. 7-9. Join strolling Victorian carolers and musicians as you wander through luminous pathways at Heritage Hill Historical Park. Visit with Santa in the Arbor, enjoy crafts with Mrs. Claus and listen to winter tales via OC Libraries storytelling. Light refreshments are available for purchase. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $5 GA, free for children under 3. Heritage Hill Historical Park, 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest, 949.923.2230. ocparks.com


44th Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Dec. 7-8, 14-15. Boaters light up the harbor with decorations based on the theme “A Western Wonderland.” OC Parks host free family activities throughout Dana Point Harbor including games, crafts, photos and selfies with Santa, live entertainment and more. Festivities 4:30 p.m., boat parade 7:30 p.m. Dana Point Harbor, 34555 Golden Lantern Drive, Dana Point, 949.923.2255. danapointharbor.com


7th Annual Brew Ho Ho! Holiday Ale Festival
Dec. 8. The Brew Ho Ho! festival features more than 90 craft beers from the finest breweries in Southern California and beyond, including rare and limited-release holiday and winter ales. Guests can pair their craft beers with bites from food vendors such as the Viking Truck and Cousin’s Maine Lobster. 21+. Noon-4 p.m. $55 online, $65 at the door; $20 for parking at the Honda Center. Anaheim Phoenix Club, 1340 S. Sanderson Ave., Anaheim. ocbrewhoho.com


Nutcracker for Kids
Dec. 8. Twirling ballerinas enchant in the holiday classic The Nutcracker for Kids.They Pacific Symphony concert brings to life the world of toy soldiers, waltzing flowers and the Sugar Plum Fairy in a 45-minute version adapted for kids ages 5-11. Enjoy a musical carnival before or after the show. Musical Carnival 9 a.m. (for 10 a.m. guests) and 12:15 p.m. (for 11:30 a.m. guests). Showtimes 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. $45-$76. Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.755.5799. pacificsymphony.org


Brunch with Santa at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
Dec. 9. Enjoy a delectable Sunday brunch at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse; bring the kids for photos with Santa! 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Davio’s, 18420 Von Karman Ave., Irvine, 949.477.4810. davios.com


Festival Ballet Theater’s “The Nutcracker”
Dec. 8-24. Orange County’s premier ballet company, Festival Ballet Theatre, presents the traditional full-length production of the cherished holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Children and the young at heart will enjoy its colorful scenery, magnificent costumes and sensational dancing. See website for showtimes. $45+. Irvine Barclay Theater, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine, 949.854.4646. thebarclay.org


Champagne Holiday Brunch
Dec. 15. Montage’s Champagne Holiday Brunch on the Studio lawn features Veuve Clicquot champagne sipped overlooking unobstructed views of the Pacific. Enjoy live musical entertainment, chef-attended buffet stations and a raw seafood tower and oyster bar. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $150+/pp, plus tax and gratuity, includes a bottle of bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne for every two adult guests. Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949.715.6420.  montagehotels.com


Disney on Ice Presents Dare to Dream
Dec. 19-23. Five Disney heroines—including Moana, making her Disney-on-Ice debut—come together to share their adventures. Discover your inner hero with Disney classic characters— Rapunzel, Elsa, Mickey and friends—on ice! See website for showtimes. $25+. Honda Center, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, 714.704.2500. hondacenter.com


Newport Beach Boat Parade Celebration
Dec. 19-23. Catch all the twinkling boat-parade action at the exclusive “members only” American Legion, the largest American Legion Post in the U.S., and the only post with its own Yacht Club. In addition to prime viewing for the boat parade, the Mexican-Christmas-Fiesta-themed event offers Mexican dinner buffets, family activities, carolers and other live entertainment including, on Friday, mariachis. All donations benefit troops, veterans and their families. Reservations encouraged. Doors 4 p.m.; dinner 5 p.m.; boat parade, approximately 6:45 p.m. Suggested donations: $29 Adults, $12 Children 10 and under. The American Legion on Balboa Peninsula, 215 15th St., Newport Beach, 949.554.4914. al291.com



44th Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights in Dana Point Harbor


5th Annual California Country Christmas Concert 
Dec. 20. Head to House of Blues Anaheim for a country Christmas concert that gives back. Country-music fans will dance to an unforgettable night of ’90s tunes performed by 24 of SoCal’s top country artists, including Daniel Bonte & The Bona Fide, Alice Walace, Jake Parr and more. Benefitting Spark of Love. Doors 6:30 p.m. Free admission with unwrapped toy donation. House of Blues Anaheim, 400 Disney Way, Suite 337, Anaheim, 714.778.2583. houseofblues.com


Winter Fest OC
Dec. 20-Jan. 6. Festival features more than 20 wintry activities, including outdoor ice skating in SoCal’s largest outdoor ice rink, ice tubing down Snowflake Summit, a significantly upgraded snow play area with real snow, a re-imagined Festival of Lights, flying Santa, nightly fireworks and much more. New this year are Alpine Village, the Snowmazing Maze, model train exhibits and live entertainment. See website for schedule and prices. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, 657.333.2520. winterfestoc.com


Jane Austen’s Emma: The Musical
Through Dec. 23. The captivating love story, adapted from Jane Austen’s novel “Emma,” is now a romantic-comedy musical. The story revolves around a well-meaning but disaster-prone matchmaker who ignores her own romantic feelings while setting out to find a suitor for her friend. Her efforts go awry, of course, leading to comic complications. See website for showtimes and ticket prices. Cripe Stage at Chance Theater, Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim, Tickets.


A Christmas Carol 
Through Dec. 24. Recapture the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas with this timeless Dickens classic and all your favorite characters—Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, the Fezziwigs, the ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come—and, as always, Hal Landon Jr. as Ebenezer Scrooge. See website for showtimes and ticket pricing. South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 714.708.5555. scr.org


Queen Mary’s New Year’s Eve: Past & Present
Dec. 31.
 Ring in the New Year aboard the majestic Queen Mary. Voyage through the ship’s decks, ballrooms and salons for a night of multiple celebrations featuring delicious food, specialty drinks, live music performances, multiple DJs, dueling pianos and more. 21+. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. GA $115; VIP $215. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0738. queenmary.com


Queen Mary Christmas: Where Holidays Set Sail
Through Jan. 6. Enjoy the holiday spirit aboard Queen Mary as it transforms into an epic adventure-filled wonderland. Enjoy live entertainment, festive libations, vintage-dressed carolers, sweet treats, light shows, ice-skating, eclectic shopping and more. Don’t miss the meet-and-greet with Santa in the Shipyard. See website for schedule and ticket prices. Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 800.437.2934. queenmary.com

Crystal Cove Tree Lighting Photo courtesy Crystal Cove Concervancy. Sawdust Winter Fantasy Festival photo courtesy Sawdust Art Festival. Holiday Boat Parade photo courtesy the ACE Agency.

Originally published here. Edited by Laura Okey

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Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable

MA Blog

Everyone knows that housing affordability has been negatively impacted by rising prices and increasing mortgage rates, but there is another piece to the affordability equation – wages.

How much a family earns obviously impacts how easy or difficult it is for them to afford to own a home. Because of an improving economy, wages are finally beginning to increase – and that dramatically affects home affordability.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) September 2018 Housing Affordability Index, wages have increased in every region of the country:

Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable | Keeping Current Matters

After applying current salaries, home prices, and mortgage rates to their Home Affordability Index equation, the index, though still lower than this time last year (160.1 to 146.7), increased over the last month (141.2 to 146.7). For the complete methodology used by NAR, click here.

The percentage of income needed to own a home has also decreased each of the last three months. It currently sits at 17% which is substantially lower than historic numbers.

Wage Increases Make Home Buying More Affordable | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are a first-time buyer or a move-up buyer who believes that purchasing a home is not within your budget, check with a local real estate professional to find out if that is still true.

Originally published here. 

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7 Reasons To List Your House For Sale This Holiday Season

Michael Anthony Blog

Every year at this time there are many homeowners who decide to wait until after the holidays to list their homes for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their new employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is minimal competition for you as a seller right now. Inventory of homes for sale traditionally slows in the late fall, early winter. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:

7 Reasons to List Your House for Sale This Holiday Season | Keeping Current Matters


  1. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream homes during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
  2. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge and reach new heights which will lessen the demand for your house in 2019.

Bottom Line 

Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense.

Article originally published here.

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Are You Spending TOO Much on Rent?

Are You Spending TOO Much on Rent? | Keeping Current Matters

Chances are if you are renting you are spending too much of your income on your monthly housing expense. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their income on their rent or mortgage payment. This percentage allows the household to save money for the future while comfortably covering other expenses.

According to new data released from ApartmentList.com, 49.5 million renters in the United States were cost-burdened in 2017, meaning they spent more than 30%of their monthly incomes on rent. This accounts for nearly half of all renter households in the country and is up 3.1 million from 2007.

When a household is cost-burdened by their monthly housing expense, they are not as easily able to save money for the future. This is a big factor for many renters who dream of owning their own homes someday.

But there is hope for those who are able to save at least a 3% down payment! The percentage of income needed in the US to buy a home is significantly less than renting at 17.1%!

The chart below compares the historic percentage of income needed to rent and buy from 1985-2000 to the first quarter of 2018. As you can see, the cost of renting has climbed above historic numbers while the cost of buying dropped over the same period of time.

Are You Spending TOO Much on Rent? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many renters who is spending too much of their monthly income on rent, consider saving money by getting a roommate, moving into a less expensive apartment, or even moving in with family. These are all ways to save for a down payment so that you can put your housing costs to work for you!

Article courtesy of Keeping Current Matters.

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Where are Home Values Headed over the Next Few Years?

Where are Home Values Headed over the Next Few Years? | Keeping Current Matters

There are many questions about where home prices will be next year as well as where they may be headed over the next several years to come. We have gathered the most reliable sources to help answer these questions:

The Home Price Expectation Survey – A survey of over 100 market analysts, real estate experts, and economists conducted by Pulsenomics each quarter.

Zelman & Associates – The firm leverages unparalleled housing market expertise, extensive surveys of industry executives, and rigorous financial analysis to deliver proprietary research and advice to leading global institutional investors and senior-level company executives.

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) – As the leading advocate for the real estate finance industry, the MBA enables members to successfully deliver fair, sustainable, and responsible real estate financing within ever-changing business environments.

Freddie Mac – An organization whose mission is to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing market in all economic conditions extending to all communities from coast to coast.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) – The largest association of real estate professionals in the world.

Fannie Mae – A leading source of financing for mortgage lenders, providing access to affordable mortgage financing in all markets always.

Here are their projections of prices going forward:

Where are Home Values Headed over the Next Few Years? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Every source sees home prices continuing to appreciate – just at lower percentages as we move through the next several years.

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Will Home Prices Continue to Increase?

Will Home Prices Continue to Increase? | Keeping Current Matters







There are many unsubstantiated theories about what is happening with home prices. From those who are worried that prices are falling (data shows this is untrue),to those who are concerned that prices are again approaching boom peaks because of “irrational exuberance” (this is also untrue as prices are not at peak levels when they are adjusted for inflation), there seems to be no shortage of opinion.

However, the increase in prices is easily explained by the theory of supply & demand. Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase. It is that simple. In real estate, it takes a six-month supply of existing salable inventory to maintain pricing stability. In most housing markets, anything less than six months will cause home values to appreciate and anything greater than seven months will cause prices to depreciate (see chart below).

Will Home Prices Continue to Increase? | Keeping Current Matters

According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the monthly inventory of homes for sale has been below six months for the last five years (see chart below).

Will Home Prices Continue to Increase? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If buyer demand continues to outpace the current supply of existing homes for sale, prices will continue to appreciate. Nothing nefarious is taking place. It is simply the theory of supply & demand working as it should.

Article courtesy of Keeping Current Matters.

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